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New Beltline Programs Tout Ownership, Strong Neighborhoods

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It's a rare day when "Beltline" and "affordable housing" are used in the same sentence, but Creative Loafing reports that that could change. Two new programs seek to provide resources to allow low income families to buy and fix up property near the Beltline. Focusing specifically on the neighborhoods surrounding the Westside trailcurrently under construction — Beltline officials hope to foster the development of a diverse, vibrant neighborhood. One program offers down payment assistance to those who earn 80-percent or less of the area median income, translating to around $36,080 for a single-person household. The second program encourages rehabilitation of homes by existing residents within a half-mile of the new trail.

While many developers have made a pretty penny with large-scale rental developments and flipping houses along the Beltline, these programs endeavor to bring in people who want to invest in the community. One of the provisions of the programs is that if buyers stay for five years, there is loan forgiveness, encouraging new residents to establish roots in the community. The goal is to stabilize the neighborhood long before the trail is complete. The rehab program isn't for tricking-out your house with the latest gadgets, but is meant to allow local residents who might not be able to afford maintenance and upkeep as property values increase the ability to fix things like roofs and insulation. So far, around 40 applicants have taken advantage of the programs which are funded by the Beltline tax allocation district's tax increment.

· Buy a home, fix your leaky roof with new Beltline program [Creative Loafing]
· Sights, Sounds from Westside Trail's Joyous Groundbreaking [Curbed Atlanta]